What Being A Sniper Taught Me About Life
As a Veteran, I have been told multiple times by employers that my skills (to include being a Ranger Leader, and Sniper) do not translate directly to the civilian workplace. Apparently, just acquiring knowledge is enough to get a job, and real-life experience applying basic fundamentals to succeed is not worth anything to many employers today. My argument in this article is that even the fundamentals of one of the most basic military tasks, shooting a rifle, can apply to the workplace. Strong fundamentals apply in everything. With shooting fundamentals and how they equate to the civilian workplace in my mind:
- Body position – Sniper hide position/personal/company positioning. Am I in the correct position to pull off what I am about to do? Does something feel off, not right, or does it feel good? Am I stable? Is my team in the right spot? Is my body ready? Is my team ready? Section? Company?
- Breathing – being in tune with yourself and what you’re feeling. Calm, cool, collected. Being able to control your breathing in a stressful environment. Being able to focus on the task at hand, and not allow stressors to mess up your decision.
- Trigger squeeze – making sure you do not rush and misstep the decision by going too quickly in the wrong direction.
- Sight picture – am I clear of any speed bumps that might derail my action?
- Sight alignment – no scope creep.
- Follow through – just because you are done with the first shot or sale, doesn’t mean you mentally lapse. Followthrough also includes acquiring a new target/goal, reapplication of the same target if missed the first time, and an honest self-assessment within microseconds of the application of the first 5 fundamentals.
To be a shooter/sniper, therefore, requires critical thinking, planning, resource management, research and analysis, adaptability, and mental acuity, for starters! Being able to regurgitate information on a multiple question test takes less applicable intelligence, and certainly doesn’t show that you can apply what you know!